At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital saying goodbye to your loyal friend is never rushed, it is important to us that we understand your needs and meet your expectations. This may be one of the most difficult, yet one of the most critical life stages you and your dog will go through together. For several owners, it can also be a comforting experience, and in many cases, although one of the hardest, one of the kindest decisions an owner can make for their beloved canine companion.

What is pet euthanasia and when is the right time?

Euthanasia is the painless administration of a non-reversible anesthetic to end life. Your veterinarian is there to guide you and help you decide when the right time is for your pet. Ultimately this decision is yours to make. Quite commonly, we hear from owners that their pets have their way of letting them know when it’s time to say goodbye. We often look at the quality of life over quantity of life. Your veterinarian may ask you specific questions about your dog’s mobility, appetite and overall behaviour to look for signs of depression and or pain which can be used to assess your dog’s quality of life.

Do you offer cremation services?

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital does not maintain its own crematorium. We utilize the outstandingly professional and trustworthy services of Vancouver Island Animal Crematorium, owned by Steve and Tammy Johnson, of Courtenay, BC. Steve and Tammy have been clients of our hospital for many years. We know them personally. Their integrity is undeniable in regards to their commitment to ensure that your pets are taken care of as requested, by a professional animal crematorium. We have visited their premises periodically to ensure that their standards are maintained.

Private cremations requiring the return of the ashes of our beloved pets are returned to their families – unquestionably. This is a hugely significant issue for all of us. Vancouver Island Crematorium is fastidious in their efforts to ensure that all ashes are returned to their family members. Their reputation in the industry is extremely important.

What should I expect during this appointment?

Your veterinarian will discuss the entire process with you as well as inform you of the things you may or may not expect. Every euthanasia is handled with utmost respect and compassion. Prior to the euthanasia process, your dog will receive a sedative which is usually administered by an injection just under the skin; it helps alleviate any anxiety your dog may have and also helps in reducing any pain or discomfort your companion may be feeling. Owners are encouraged to stay with their companion for as long as they need. We have an exclusive comfort room with a private entrance which is separated from the busy atmosphere of the hospital, this is where you and your pet can snuggle in and find peace. This is a private time between you and your companion, and when you are ready to say goodbye, you’ll have access to a buzzer which will alert our staff that you are ready to say goodbye.

What drug is used?

Prior to euthanasia, dogs are given a sedative. A Pentobarbital Sodium injection is then administered intravenously during the actual euthanasia process.

What’s the cost of euthanasia?

Euthanasia costs will vary depending on your specific needs and afterlife requests. It is best to give our office a call at 250-334-8400 to discuss all your options and to obtain an accurate quote. We fully understand this can be a very difficult phone call to make, and invite you to send us an email to for a quote and at that time we’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your companions end of life stage and euthanasia.

Does the clinic also provide bereavement counselling?

There are several online resources available for bereavement counselling after the loss of your feline companion. Your veterinarian can be a good source for links to online bereavement sites and literature on the loss of a pet. The Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph offers 24-hr support through their Pet Loss Support Hotline at 519-824-4120 x53694.